Dacia Bigster Concept could lead to a budget three-row SUV [Update]

As part of Renaulution strategy, group company Dacia unveiled a 5-year business plan in January which included the announcement of the Dacia Bigster concept – a C-segment SUV which will see the budget-conscious brand sell its most expensive product to date.

Video from Dacia Fans Youtube channel

The next 5 years for the French group will see it focus on the Dacia-Lada business unit, with the brand announcing that the Alliance’s (Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi) CMF-B platform will be fully leveraged for upcoming products. The CMF-B platform will also give these products the versatility of featuring alternative and hybrid engines, Dacia confirmed, while acknowledging future regulations will be met via this route.

Exterior & Interior

The Dacia Bigster Concept is described by the company as being a ‘roomy, robust’ SUV meant for ‘open-air and dusty roads’. Dacia confirms the SUV measures 4.6 meters in length, which puts it in the ballpark of the world’s best-selling C-segment SUVs. However, given the brand’s heritage of adhering to a strict cost sheet, the production Dacia Bigster will be ‘accessible, at the cost of a vehicle from the segment below,’ the company had said in January.

Dacia promises a ‘very spacious’ interior with generous outside dimensions and focuses on the design’s ‘genuineness.’ There are no chrome or imitation-aluminium trims, but the company has used raw recycled plastics for all exterior protective panels. We expect the main attraction from the interior to be an additional row of rear seats that makes it a seven-seat SUV.

Dacia Bigster SUV concept profile
The production Bigster SUV will feature alternate fuel and hybrid engines. Image source: Renault.

Purported leaked patent images autofacil.es published in May 2021 show that the production Dacia Bigster won’t look very different from the concept version. Except for minor tweaks to the bumper, fenders, rocker panels, quarter glass panels, hood, and mirrors, it looks the same.

Dacia models beginning with the Bigster will likely look more stylish and less utilitarian. One reason is that Aston Martin design chief Miles Nurnberger is joining the Romanian brand in September 2021. The man behind the DBX, the first Aston Martin SUV, is expected to lift Dacia to a new level of automotive design, starting with the Bigster and the third-gen Duster SUVs.

Dacia Bigster Hybrid

Renault Group has suggested that thanks to the CMF-B platform, it is possible to offer the Bigster and other future Dacia models, like the next-gen Duster, for instance, with its E-Tech Hybrid powertrain technology.

Dacia (and) Lada are moving on the CMF-B platform for the next-gen Duster or the Bigster that we also announced. That is also to say that when Dacia or Lada will need technology, for example, for the E-Tech, the hybrid, we will be able to transfer the technology very easily to those ones.

Gilles Le Borgne, EVP Engineering, Renault Group (Renault eWays ElectroPop)

Renault Group is working on a bigger version of the HR16 1.6-litre E-Tech engine, and it will offer the new electrified engine in the Dacia Bigster, as per a report from L’argus. Internally called ‘HR18,’ it will have a displacement of 1,800 cc.

Unlike the HR16 engine, the HR18 will run on the Atkinson cycle for low fuel consumption. The company didn’t use this combustion cycle in the smaller engine because it would have significantly reduced power, but that won’t be a problem with a higher displacement.

The 1.8-litre E-Tech engine will be available in self-charging hybrid and rechargeable/plug-in hybrid variants. The next-gen Dacia Duster will get it first, in fall 2024, and then the Dacia Bigster in 2025, L’Argus adds. Expect the traction battery pack of the plug-in hybrid system to offer an EV range of 30-35 miles (WLTP).

Given the Euro 7 norms (full compliance for Euro 7 is likely to come into effect before 2025), it is reasonable to expect even entry variants of the Dacia Bigster to feature MHEV (Mild Hybrid with a 48V system).

Not a 5-star Euro NCAP model in the making

Dacia Jogger product manager Andreea Guinea has told Autocar that while Dacia is all in for increasing passenger safety, it’s not chasing Euro NCAP stars. Securing a 5-star Euro NCAP rating means including advanced electronics, sensors, and cameras in the car, which can jack up the prices to where the brand loses what it stands for – affordability. The third-gen Sandero recorded a poor 2-star safety rating in the Euro NCAP crash test, and while the pricier Dacia Bigster could be safer, don’t expect a 5-star rating.

Dacia Bigster Price

French site auto-moto.com has reported that the Dacia Bigster concept will spawn a production model at an unbeatable price. The trump card for Dacia is the bargain starting price, case in point, the EUR 8,690 for a Sandero or EUR 12,490 for a Duster, will be utilized again to bring customers into showrooms, who invariably lock-in the upper trims with better finish and more equipment, the French magazine adds.

Dacia Bigster SUV concept rear quarter
The Bigster could be the roomiest car built by Dacia and a good successor to the Lodgy MPV. However, plans for a seven-seat configuration are unknown at this point. Image: Renault

The Dacia Bigster’s base price is estimated between EUR 15,000 and EUR 17,000 by Auto-moto. At the top of the range, decked out with a hybrid engine with at least 140 hp output, the Bigster would touch EUR 30,000. This would make it mouth-watering considering the Peugeot 5008, Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, and the Nissan X-Trail cost that much for the basic trims.

The Bigster would help Dacia significantly boost its sales in the UK, where it reached the 200,000 sales milestone with the delivery of a Sandero Stepway in Milton Keynes in July 2021. The base Dacia Bigster could cost around GBP 20,000 (approx. EUR 23,500), as per a report from Auto Express.

Dacia Bigster FAQs

What is the Dacia Bigster SUV release date?

The Bigster hybrid, riding on the CMF-B platform, should premiere in 2025.

Which SUVs would rival the Dacia Bigster hybrid?

The bargain-price Bigster would target C-segment SUVs including the Nissan Qashqai & VW Tiguan.

What will be the price of the Dacia Bigster hybrid?

Dacia says the Bigster’s price will be similar to a lower segment. Expect the hybrid variant to start at around EUR 23,000.

Featured image: Renault